Deegan Disaster

NY Post - February 03, 2012

by KIRSTAN CONLEY, C.J. SULLIVAN and DOUG AUER

A pregnant 16-year-old was killed yesterday -- on her due date -- when the car she was riding in crashed as it sped down the Major Deegan Expressway in The Bronx, police said.

Daniela Abreu died in the fatal smash-up, which also claimed the lives of her unborn baby and two others in the car.

Abreu, who had been rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital in a desperate bid to save her child, suffered a miscarriage in the tragedy, police sources said.

A family member told The Post that Abreu, who lived with her parents in Inwood, was slated to give birth yesterday.

"She was a real good kid. Everyone loved her,'' said English Aviles, her classmate at George Washington HS.

"She shouldn't have gotten into that car."

Abreu was in the rear seat of a 2012 Chrysler 300 that, authorities said, was zooming down the highway and dangerously switching lanes when driver Eduardo Nunez, 30, lost control at 12:15 a.m. near the Cross Bronx Expressway interchange.

The car, which was carrying a total of five people, mounted the grass shoulder and struck a concrete wall.

It then slid into a concrete pillar before finally coming to rest.

All of the occupants were pinned in the mangled wreck and had to be extricated by firefighters.

It's unclear if the victims had been wearing seatbelts.

Nunez, of Washington Heights, was pronounced dead at the scene.

"He was just a really fun-loving guy," said his cousin, Yannanda Mieses, 29. "He would do anything for you if he could."

Mieses said that she and Nunez grew up with one another and celebrated holidays together.

"He was always smiling,'' she said. "He was always joking, he was a prankster."

Also killed was rear-seat passenger José Henriquez, 22, of Yonkers.

Raymond Batista, 21, of Yonkers, a front-seat passenger, was pulled from the wreckage with severe head trauma and was fighting for his life at St. Barnabas, police said.

Also saved from the twisted mess of metal was Garcia Abel, 18, who was seated behind Nunez .

Abel, of Washington Heights, suffered hip, leg and back injuries.

He was in critical, but stable, condition.

It was determined that the crash was caused by Nunez traveling at a high rate of speed, police said.

There is no indication that drugs or alcohol played a role, police added.

Traffic on the highway was diverted for several hours as NYPD accident investigators pored over the scene.